Ministry for Primary Industries - an efficient LMS solution

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) helps maximise export opportunities for the country’s primary industries, increase sustainable resource use and protect New Zealand from biological risk. MPI employs more than 2,200 staff. With 70 locations nationwide, MPI has specialist people working where they're needed – from visible teams at international airports and seaports, to those in offices and laboratories.

The challenge

Having previously used another LMS, MPI needed to find a new platform with more functionality for the organisation. As a diverse organisation, MPI wanted an LMS which would be suitable for people of all ages and all levels of technical proficiency, meaning it needed to be user friendly and flexible. The LMS also needed to make it easy to deliver content to learners in a wide range of roles and settings, from office-based employees to quarantine officers.

MPI were previously using three LMS platforms, but wanted to move to one single sign-on solution to reduce administration and to increase efficiency across the organisation.

The solution

We worked to provide a solution to consolidate MPI's three existing LMS platforms into one, to be accessed by all employees. This made the system more user friendly as learners didn’t have to remember multiple logins, and it ensured the learning experience remained more consistent.

Like most government departments, security is very important to MPI. The LMS is internally hosted, and we worked closely with MPI's IT provider to set up the infrastructure and make sure security requirements were met. A single sign-on (SSO) solution was implemented which integrated with MPI’s central authentication service. This provided users with transparent authentication via Active Directory within the organisation, and via RealMe for external users. This customisation also allowed central control of user roles, outside the LMS.


MPI logo

The fresh theming of the LMS and having single sign on are big draw cards for staff within the business. One of the other benefits is having a daily HR sync which means records and reporting lines are current and it enables managers to monitor staff learning.Vanessa RossTeam Manager, MPI

The results

MPI says that Totara LMS is a vast improvement over their previous system, and they have received excellent feedback about the fresh look and feel. They like that there is now consistency throughout the system. Users note the LMS is far more user friendly and intuitive than the previous solution. Many more staff have access to the new platform, enabling MPI to reach more people with their learning.

Today MPI's site has 3,300 users with over 300 online courses. Over the last 12 months, they have had 41,000 login events. Managers have given excellent feedback on the LMS, saying that the move from spreadsheets and email to the new, inbuilt face-to-face system, has saved administration time and made the processes smoother and more manageable.

The new LMS